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Carnivore activity in the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample



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Sala Burgos, Nohemi and Arsuaga, Juan Luis and Martínez Mendizábal, Ignacio and Gracia Téllez, Ana (2014) Carnivore activity in the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample. Quaternary Science Reviews, 97 . pp. 71-83. ISSN 0277-3791

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.05.004


The Sima de los Huesos (SH) site is the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known to date. Studies in the last two decades have proposed different hypotheses to explain carnivore activity in the SH human sample. This study provides new data in order to test these different interpretations, and therefore to understand the role of the carnivores in site formation at SH. Carnivores are usually not the origin of large accumulations of hominin fossils in the Eurasian record. The results show that marks of carnivore activity in the SH sample appear very infrequently, which we interpret as indicating that carnivore activity was very sporadic at the site. This is in stark contrast with previous studies. The comparison of bone modification patterns at SH to actualistic carnivore data allows us to suggest that bears were likely to have been the carnivore responsible for the modification observed on both human and bear fossils

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Taphonomy; Tooth marks; Middle Pleistocene; Homo heidelbergensis
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:64114
Deposited On:26 Feb 2021 06:56
Last Modified:26 Feb 2021 08:41

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